Woman Finds Husband’s Body In Their House Eight Months After Reporting Him Missing

A woman who reported her husband missing eight months ago found him in their house.
Credit: Fox 2 St. Louis

A woman found her husband’s body in their house eight months after reporting him missing. 

Jennifer Maedge, from Illinois, US, received a call from her spouse, Richard, 53, to say he would leave work early.

She returned home to find his car on the drive but the father-of-three was nowhere to be seen.

Maedge would report Richard missing on April 27, 2022, and eight months would go by before she eventually found him in their own home.

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Jennifer tells People magazine that she was struggling to find a way to celebrate the holidays without knowing where her partner was.

After weeks of contemplation, she put up Christmas decorations to lift her spirits and honour him.

This decision would lead her to find her husband’s body in a closet.

Jennifer told the Bellville News-Democrat: “I decided to put the Christmas tree up and I was looking for a tote of Christmas ornaments. That’s when I discovered him.”

She admitted she rarely visited the closet, as it was stuffed with piles of rubbish.

Richard Maedge
Richard Maedge was missing for eight months before he was found in his own home. Credit: Aebischer-Richeson Funeral Home

Officers had searched the property twice following reports of a ‘strange odour’ in the house.

They put the smell down to the mounds of rubbish inside the home. A plumber was even brought in to fix sewage pipes and help remove the smell.

Jennifer says the smell eventually subsided, which is one of the reasons why Richard remained missing so long.

Maedge’s sister, Marilyn Toliver, criticised the police for not finding her brother during their first two searches.

However, she is now satisfied she and her family have had some closure.

“Even though we didn’t want the outcome that we had, it’s still an outcome that we can put him to rest,” Marilyn said.

Jennifer and Richard Maedge
Richard Maedge was found in his home inside a closet. Credit: Van Tollier via Facebook

The police department disagreed with Marilyn’s claims, saying they searched what they described as a ‘hoarder home’ and its surrounding areas thoroughly.

According to FOX affiliate KTVI, a coroner’s report reveals that Richard died by suicide, with his body ‘mummified’ by the time he was found.

“There were no other injuries found during the autopsy examination or evidence found that would indicate anything nefarious regarding Mr Maedge’s death,” the coroner concluded.

The coroner also explained that once the body had passed the decomposition stage it wouldn’t have given off any pungent smell, which would have helped locate him sooner.

No foul play is suspected in his passing, the autopsy found.

Jennifer Maedge
Jennifer Maedge fondly remembers her husband for his talent, quirkiness and compassion. Credit: Fox 2 St. Louis

“I was trying to keep an optimistic kind of outlook just in case he happened to be alive. I mean, I always knew that there was a positive and a negative of being alive and being dead throughout the whole entire thing. But if he happened to be alive and I thought he was dead, I would’ve felt really guilty,” Jennifer told People.

She clarified their relationship had no major issues that could have explained her husband’s disappearance.

Jennifer fondly remembers Richard, whom she met on a dating app over 20 years ago, for his talent, quirkiness, and compassion.

Despite her grief, she acknowledges her husband wouldn’t want her to dwell on his loss and is focused on figuring out how to move forward.

If you or someone you know is affected by any of the issues raised in this story, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline in the US at 800-273-TALK (8255) or text Crisis Text Line at 741741.

In the UK, the Samaritans is available 24/7 if you need to talk. You can contact them for free by calling 116 123, emailing [email protected] or heading to the website to find your nearest branch.

Do you have a story for us? If so, email us at [email protected]. All contact will be treated in confidence.

Written by Cal Gaunt

Cal is a former content editor at IGV who specialised in writing trending and entertainment news. He previously worked as a news reporter at the Lancashire Telegraph and earned an NCTJ in Sports Journalism.